- Associated Press - Friday, August 29, 2014

LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Cristiano Ronaldo is unfit and will miss Portugal’s opening 2016 European Championship qualifier against visiting Albania.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento said Friday that the country’s star forward, who has been playing for Real Madrid at the start of the Spanish league season, was ruled unfit to play in the Sept. 7 match by the Portuguese Football Federation’s medical department.

“Regardless of whether he has been playing more or less regularly, at the moment he can’t play,” Bento told a news conference. He did not elaborate.

Ronaldo’s absence renewed speculation about the seriousness of a left-leg injury that hindered him at the World Cup in Brazil. Ronaldo initially said he was fit at that tournament but later conceded he was playing at less than 100 percent as Portugal made a disappointing first-round exit.

The 24-man squad features four players who earned their first call-up as Bento said he was aiming for a “gradual renewal” of his team.

Defender Ruben Vezo, midfielders Adrien Silva and Pedro Tiba, and strikers Ricardo Horta and Bruma will be seeking their first cap.



Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Dynamo Zagreb), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Anthony Lopes (Lyon).

Defenders: Joao Pereira (Valencia), Ruben Vezo (Valencia), Andre Almeida (Benfica), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Antunes (Malaga), Ricardo Costa (Al-Sailiya), Neto (Zenit St. Petersburg).

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Adrien Silva (Sporting Lisbon), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Andre Gomes (Valencia), Pedro Tiba (Braga).

Forwards: Nani (Sporting Lisbon), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Bruma (Galatasaray), Eder (Braga), Ivan Cavaleiro (Depeortivo la Coruna), Ricardo Horta (Malaga).

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide